Explore photos of various masonry design styles to inspire your next renovation and connect with the professionals that completed the work.
Current trends include combining differing textures and colors of stone and brick into the structure design, and a mixture of masonry and other building mediums in the home's exterior design (i.e. stucco and stone and brick, in addition to siding). Newer brick styles include grays, tans, and light earthy tones that compliment current exterior color trends. One ongoing popular trend is veneer masonry, where stonework is used primarily for decorative and not structural purposes. The images in the Masonry Photo Gallery below provide good examples of the versatility and beauty afforded by this timeless building material.
Let's make something crystal clear here: Nothing in construction or remodeling is as difficult to master as masonry. This timeless art has been around for centuries and even today, it is an exceedingly popular method of building homes. But there is a lot more going into masonry than just throwing blocks and mortar together. Proper masonry takes a lot of time and practice in order to get it right. That is why it is essential to be familiar with the rules of masonry and the materials that are most commonly used. Each material has specific guidelines regarding placing and each maintains a different aesthetic which can increase (or decrease) the curb appeal of your home.
The most common material used in masonry is the concrete masonry unit, also called CMU. CMU has seen a lot of use lately due to its durability, large size, and practically limitless applications. Many buildings with striking facades are likely built with CMU. However, you will not often find CMU used in homes due to the fact that it is also very expensive. Unless you have deep pockets, avoid a stonemason specializing in CMU.
If you are looking for the most popular type of masonry used in homes, look no further than brick. It makes a lot of sense why it is so popular. It has been widely used in homes big and small since at least the 16th centuryâ€”maybe even earlier. It comes in a wide variety of colors, is generally much cheaper than CMU, and it can be painted over much easier than cinder blocks (though this is not recommended, as painted bricks have a tendency to crack). There is a timeless charm to brick homes and you will often find that they sell faster than homes constructed with modern siding.
Veneer masonry is a less common material used in homes due to fairly limited applications. This is due primarily to the material being flat like a tile rather than dense like CMU or brick; this also makes veneer the lightest masonry material. More often than not, veneer is hidden behind these other two materials to provide support. However, veneer masonry does have redeeming qualities which make it fantastic in certain ways. Veneer is commonly used for foundation work, ensuring your home's continued stability. Veneer is also fantastic for interior design, especially in bathrooms as it can repel moisture and hold in heat from the bath or shower.
All three of these materials each carry their own benefits and responsibilities. Veneer is fashionable, CMU is strong, and brick is timeless and versatile. You will need to find a stonemason who knows how to construct with all three of these materials in order to ensure quality construction and a house which will stand through all your years and beyond.
Although among the oldest known building materials used by mankind, masonry products such as brick, stone, granite, marble, and stucco have maintained a reputation throughout the centuries as having birthed some of the most impressive and visually stunning structures in the world. While many of these landmarks seem as durable and strong as when first created, knowledgeable masons know the key to building masonry structures that endure the test of time: quality materials, quality mortar, quality, workmanship, and a good structural design. Advantages over other building materials are widespread: resilience, low-upkeep, high-safety, and longevity. Despite its heavy weight and need for skilled laborers, masonry products remain among the most popular building material choices.